I closed my eyes and sat still. I didn’t know if I had done the right thing. Actually, after I did it, I feared it was the wrong thing. But it was done, so I closed my eyes and sat still.
Voices spoke to me. Were they voices? Or were they thoughts? (And did it matter?)
Regardless, the answer came to me. It was ok – right or wrong, the decision I had made was ok.
I think we put way too much stake in this idea of listening to our inner voice and intuition. I expect it to be some grand gesture – the voice of God screaming in my head. I expect it to be obvious. I mean, c’mon – wouldn’t that make life easier??
Taking care of my newborn baby I felt the same way – why wasn’t everything more obvious? Wasn’t I supposed to know exactly what to do? What was the point of making something so magical and precious, and yet also so elusive?
But we DO know what to do – we just don’t trust ourselves, or that soft inner voice. Learning to follow your intuition takes practice – but it really takes trusting ourselves completely. I am not kidding – it ALWAYS knows. I have interviewed over 50 women and moms personally in my career and not one of them can point out a time when their intuition led them astray.
This is from one of my partners, and moms on a mission, Sandy Green:
I remember sitting on the floor of our new house with my then 4-month old baby boy, Avi. My husband was bringing everything over with the movers later in the day, so there was literally nowhere to sit but the empty floor. We were alone and had just finished nursing, but Avi was still crying. Still hungry. Breastfeeding had become a challenge over the past few weeks for a variety of reasons. And as I sat there on the floor with my crying babe, I knew - nursing just wasn’t working for us anymore. But I also knew I wasn’t ready to be finished with my breastfeeding journey. Without much thought or research, I decided to make the transition to an exclusive pumper. I had been back at work for a month and was already pumping a few times a day. How hard could it be?
Avi is almost 10 months now and I just finished weaning from the pump. Over the last 6 months, I’ve pumped on airplanes, trains and even in the back of an Uber. I’ve pumped in restaurants, public bathrooms, and hotel lobbies. In front of colleagues, friends, and family members. I’ve carried hundreds of ounces of milk over thousands of miles. When I started to exclusively pump, I was getting about 25oz a day. Through some manipulation and a lot of luck, I was able to increase that to 40oz a day and I now have enough in the freezer to last Avi for months. I have 5 different pumps and 4 sets of parts. I’ve become a crusader for working mothers everywhere and their right to pump at work. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and I can’t wait to share them with other moms. – Sandy Green
All you NYC mamas! Sandy is hosting a new workshop, Pump Like Pro! Whether you’ve got a job that only allows you to nurse on the weekends, you travel without your baby for business (or pleasure!), or you’ve made the brave and difficult decision to exclusively pump, this workshop will help you meet your breastfeeding goals through pumping. AND, all mamas in attendance will be getting a special bonus from Soul Ma!
Here’s a sneak peek at Sandy’s top pumping tips:
- Be Prepared! - There’s nothing worse than being out of the house, all set to pump and realize you forgot a crucial part of your set-up. And this will inevitably happen at least once in your pumping journey. Be prepared with extra parts at work, in the car, or in your bag and know the tricks for when you’re in a real pinch. Did you know that if you forget a bottle, you can still pump into a clean cup or mug?! Or if you forget the cap to a bottle, you can empty a previously sealed water bottle and use that to store your milk.
- Know Your Rights! - TSA guidelines consider breast milk to be in the same category as medicine which means you can bring an unlimited (but reasonable) amount on a plane with you, in liquid or frozen form. They may put it in a little machine to check for gunpowder, but you can request to stay with the milk the whole time and the WON’T need to open the bottle. I always travel with a copy of the TSA guidelines just in case.
- Your Toothbrush has a Secret Power - It seems like moms tend to get more clogs while pumping than nursing and besides being a literal pain, an unattended to clog can lead to mastitis. It’s important to do whatever you can to break them up. In addition to the typical remedies for clogs, like heat and hand massage, you can use a vibrating toothbrush to break it up! Just turn on the toothbrush and use it around the clog (or directly on it if it doesn’t hurt too much) before or during your pump session. If the clog is really stubborn, try alternating the vibrations with heat while pumping. (Bonus tip - this works with anything that vibrates...if you catch my drift…)
The Event is this Saturday, June 23 at 4pm at Montclair Baby in Montclair, NJ Register Here!
And follow Sandy's blog here! www.amamasmusings.com